Book Review: Progress in Bioethics: Science, Policy, and Politics

March 9, 2011, Vol 305, No. 10, pp 969-1050

Book and Media Reviews
Progress in Bioethics: Science, Policy, and Politics
Andrew R. Barnosky
JAMA. 2011;305(10):1036-1037.doi:10.1001/jama.2011.275

With the increasing politicization of bioethics, the essays in Progress in Bioethics: Science, Policy, and Politics offer a persuasive perspective on the philosophy of the topic, with a respectful comparison with traditional conservative approaches in the ethics debate. The book is a valuable contribution to leading scholarship in the field, and its overarching message is consistent with the Latin phrase with which Howard Shapiro begins the foreword: “ audi alteram partem (hear the other side).”

The book, edited by Jonathan Moreno and Sam Berger, includes contributions from 16 prominent scholars, including Callahan, Caplan, Wolpe, Shapiro, and Lempert; all are civil and refined in their approaches. Whether readers consider themselves on the right or the left regarding ethical and political approaches to issues in the life sciences and medicine, it would be difficult after reading this book to not have an enhanced understanding of the differing philosophical approaches to these topics …